Stop Corrupt audio discs, aka "Copy-Protected CDs sign now

"What's all this about?

Corrupt audio discs (also known as "copy-protected CDs" or "copy-controlled CDs"):

* look just like normal audio CDs
* are sold in the record shops alongside normal CDs
* might be labelled something like: "Will not play on PC/Mac"
* or might have no label at all

These audio discs have been intentionally corrupted by the record companies to make it harder for people to get them to play correctly on computers. The record companies are doing this to try to cut down on MP3 file-sharing and CD counterfeiting.

However, these corrupt CDs can have problems playing on:

* car CD players
* game consoles (PlayStation 2, X-BOX, etc)
* DVD players
* portable CD players
* digital home cinema systems
* even some 'normal' CD players

On computers, they can:

* simply refuse to play
* lock up your machine, forcing a reboot
* or in extreme cases: refuse to eject, stop your machine from working entirely, and require you to take your machine to a dealer to get it working again (details)

Some forms of CD corruption:

* reduce the scratch-resistance of the disc, making its average life-span shorter (details)
* make the quality of the sound degrade quicker as the disc gets older (details)
* can cause early failure for older CD players (details)

As you can see, the cost and inconvenience for the consumer is huge. But is the "copy-protection" doing its job? Actually, it isn't:

* Even with the most complex corruptions devised, there are always some computer CD-ROM makes and models that have been found to read the disc perfectly.
* All a professional counterfeiter would have to do is to try a disc in a number of different PCs until one of them worked.
* Even if that fails, a "copy-protected" CD could still be copied using normal phono leads from the back of a CD player.
* Actually, home users have already started to find other ways to get these CDs to play normally in computers -- by covering up the corrupted areas of the disc using sticky labels or lines from a marker pen.

So, what is this so-called "copy-protection" really achieving? "Nothing" is the short answer. But you try telling that to the record companies. They are convinced that they have to do something about MP3s, but they don't know what. This is the best they have come up with, and it is a truly hopeless solution. It is making them look like idiots, and yet they keep on going as if they really want to upset all their customers and lose all their business.

Perhaps they think that they will get away with it, and that people are just going to accept all these problems with their CDs. Certainly, many people are unaware of the issue and probably don't understand why their CDs aren't working, but I think we can do something about that.

IF YOU WANT THIS SITUATION TO CHANGE, NOW IS THE TIME TO STAND UP AND BE COUNTED. You can make a difference." (http://ukcdr.org/issues/cd/quick/)

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Angel HaleBy:
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Recording Industries

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